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Foreseeing the Future of Second Home Tourism. The Case of Finnish Media and Policy Discourse

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Second homes have been interpreted as a significant indicator of the development of new patterns of mobility and dwelling in Western countries. However, changes in population distribution, population composition, family structures and tourism preferences pose a reason to challenge the general assumption that second home tourism would continue unchanged in the future. This paper reviews representations of the future of second home tourism in the Finnish media and policy discourse. Mainstream trends and emerging weak signals are recognized and further analysed in reference to the international context. As a result of the analysis four distinctive themes related to the future of second home tourism are distinguished: dual dwelling, internationalization, alternative forms and regional differentiation. These themes suggest a change in the traditional Finnish second home culture, often portrayed as a personal and national utopia. With the exception of dual dwelling, all the themes have so far been overlooked in the official policy discourse. The paper addresses a new theme in Finnish as well as international second home literature as so far only little has been published on the long term future of second home tourism.
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Keywords: Second home tourism; media discourse; policy discourse; trends; weak signals

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Centre for Tourism Studies, University of Joensuu, Finland

Publication date: 2008-04-01

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